Providing Hope and Support
A Story of Recovery From the Front Lines
Joseph Loyal struggled with an addiction to heroin for half his life. Things changed when he entered treatment at Total Health Care in the summer of 2010, graduating in February of the next year. After completing his after-care treatment, he felt like "a new man" and wanted to help others escape their debilitating dependence on heroin and other drugs. He became a Peer Recovery Coordinator, working closely with others seeking to recover from their substance use disorders and lead healthier lives.
supports Peer Recovery Centers across Baltimore, relying on the unique skills of people in long-term recovery to help others. Now 56, Mr. Loyal continues to serve people with substance use disorders, still working at Total Health Care. "I ask them, 'How are things working? Are you happy with your life? What improvements do you want to make?'" Mr. Loyal says. "And I talk to them and tell them that change is possible."
The Peer Recovery program offers a range of activities including a community service club to allow participants to give back to the community, evening social events and health education. The program also connects participants with services to obtain housing and open checking accounts. "We work with them to move past their shame and guilt and help them build their self-confidence back. It's a long-term challenge."